Ireland's leading religious publisher, Veritas, is to open its first overseas book-store in Lourdes next year.

It will target the million or so English-speaking pilgrims - half of them Irish - who travel to the French Marian shrine annually.

Announcing the development, the Catholic publisher says that as well as religious books, the store will stock artefacts such as rosary beads, statues and pieces of high quality art such as Catholic icons.

Veritas has 11 outlets in Ireland.